Taking the online discourse on Attack on Titan vs Naruto to Comic Con.
From intense storylines to relatable characters, anime has gone beyond the stereotype of being simply a “cartoon”. Japanese animation is known for its distinct art style, storyline, and characters. Major animations such as ‘Attack on Titan’, ‘Naruto’, ‘One Piece’ and ‘Demon Slayer’ are well-known around the globe. Katy Castillio, the founder of Yatta Tachi, a site that promotes Japanese culture, states on Sandbox: “I watch anime as a way to peep into an adventure story that our world wouldn’t be able to make possible.”
Many may question why anime is so popular. The genre is very niche, but the art, animation, vibrance and approach authors take to portray characters and educate their audiences make it so appealing. For instance, every character has a dream that seems impossible to achieve, but in their world, anything is possible if one works hard to achieve it. Not only do anime teach its viewers about reaching their dreams, but it also educates them on morals, values, respect, and honour.
Moreover, the world of anime is about perspective. Many characters are portrayed as the “villain”; however, it’s about perception and ideologies. Their redemption arcs convey how humans make mistakes and are only a product of society’s perception if they fall prey to them. Its ability to relate to audiences captures the attention of many hence fans become attached and protective of the thing one resonates with.
How does this impact the viewers? We asked anime fans if anime series have taught them anything, and if so, what?
James Dunsten, 18, student: “Anime has taught me to do what I want without caring about other people’s opinions.”
Aryan Shaan, 21, student: “Anime is a unique genre. Many may claim anime is for casual viewing but these shows actually relate to audiences, covering serious topics such as bullying and suicide subtly. They delve deeper exposing their viewers to these themes without censoring or belittling them.”
For the past two years, a controversial opinion has sparked debate within the anime community. Two animes loved by many yet parting the community into two. ‘Attack on Titan’ and ‘Naruto’ are animations known for their remarkable plots and in-depth characters. Still, the differences in the genre have caused many to have opposing opinions on which is better. Opinions are subjective, but anime fanatics take an objective approach to prove the statement.
According to a poll on MyAnimeList, an online social networking and cataloguing application. 70.4% voted for ‘Attack on Titan’, whilst the remaining 29.6% voted for ‘Naruto’.
‘Attack on Titan’ is a dystopian tragedy taking viewers through the dark era of the titans, whilst ‘Naruto’ is an adventure about a young ninja who dreams of becoming the Hokage (leader) of his village despite facing numerous obstacles. Both animes are vastly different, but defensive fans cannot help but compare the characters’ vitality and endurance, challenging the superiority of either series.
The online discourse has raised severe animosity towards either show, the protective nature of the fandoms has resulted in a raging war. We brought this debate into Comic Con to gain insight into fans’ thoughts.
Rayan Amoa, 22: “By better, I mean the ability of the median to impact people’s lives, hence ‘Naruto’ is better. You can introduce the show to kids and adults and get good messages out of it.”
Ben Dylan, 20, student: “ ‘Naruto’ gives audiences a sense of familiarity. Despite the show being long, it allows viewers to get attached to the characters, giving them realistic traits we can relate to.”
On the contrary, many disagreed with these statements.
Venosiny Wignes,18, student: “I believe ‘Attack on Titan’ is much better compared to ‘Naruto.’ Simply because of the in depth plot, it’s something that’s never been done before. Not following the typical formula of the main character and his best friends going on an adventure etc. Plus every character including the side characters have a back story and are portrayed as strong independent individuals.”
Arshan Reya, 22: “ ‘Attack on Titan’ is definitely better. The series depicts many serious themes and blends it well in a dystopian animation. I found it amazing how there is no villain; rather, it depends on the viewer’s perception. Most animes give viewers an obvious villain, but this show is all about the angle you take and believe.”
Opinions are subjective; hence, there is no fixed answer as to which is better. ‘Attack on Titan’ and ‘Naruto’ are two different animes with contrasting plot lines; therefore, the comparison doesn’t make sense. Fans will come to defend their beloved series when being attacked; however, neither can be better due to a lack of reference and similarity. One can compare the characters but not the show.
Writing: Mathumithah Kandiah| Subbing: Anna Kamocsai|Image: Mathumithah Kandiah